Friday, February 22, 2013

You should have asked

My husband called yesterday...

Hubby:  I saw your post and meant to say something to you.  You should have asked your parents first. 

Me:  Why?  Do you want me to lie?  It happened.

Hubby:  Well, I think it will make them mad.  Don't you think you should have talked to them first?

Me:  I have.  Many times.  It goes no where.  Besides why would they get mad. They made that choice and haven't from what I can tell changed course.  I mean when my dad came for a visit and HB got a cut.  Dad was holding him while I was bandaging him up and HB was wiggly.  Dad told him to stop and when he didn't immediately Dad popped HB on the behind.  I had to tell him not to do that; that we don't hit people in this house.

Hubby:  Yes, well...

Me:  I realize that old habits die hard which is why I just left it alone, but don't you think it's bad that we don't tell them stuff because we are afraid that they'll get angry?

Hubby:  I'm not afraid.  It's just none of their business.

Me (thinking):  It's still driven by fear.

Me (aloud):  Do you remember that video?  The one with the judge spanking his 16 year old.  And how in the court of public opinion people got upset...

Hubby (cutting me off):  Yeah, did you see that?  It was horrible.

Me:  Well that was basically my childhood.  Minus the 16 part.  I was younger.  Minus the cursing.  Insert lots of anger which was scarier because I was in elementary school.

Hubby:  (silence)

Me:  My mother grabbed me by the arm, told me to bend over the arm of the couch, and spanked me with my dad's belt four times and if I didn't, she'd pop me on the thigh.  All while screaming.

Hubby:  Well..I still think you should have asked.

Me:  Why?  It still happened.  People are still doing that and think that it's okay for their children because it has no affect.  "They turned out just fine."  Well, I didn't.  I'm afraid to talk to my parents because I don't know if/when they will explode.  I'm scared of being a bad parent.  People need to know that it's not okay anymore.

And for the record, I'm not angry.  I'm sad.  And yes, I'm sure my parents are angry and feel hurt.  And I feel bad for them.  I feel bad that I've tried to discuss this subject with them before and got my feelings summarily tapped down.  I feel bad that as a result I've had to speak out about the subject of spanking in such a public way because people don't get it.  I am hurt that this mentality exists where I still can't talk about certain things to my own parents.  It's wrong.  It's wrong that I seek comfort in my therapist, my husband, and on occasion my MIL.  And it's all because people who choose this form of disciplinary action for their children do not believe it is wrong.  And the government can't do anything because it's not a form of child abuse.

But you decide.  You decide for yourself.  Come to your own conclusions.

I won't, however, stay silent.  It's the silence that has left me trapped.  It's the silence that keep the problem alive. 

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